Thursday, 3rd January
Up at 7:30. Left for Hoover Dam at 8:30, arriving at the Visitor Centre at 9:30. Watched a movie about the dam’s construction, looked at the view and went on the dam tour – to the power turbines, inside the dam wall and air vent tunnels. Looked at the exhibits and a 3D map of the whole Colorado River/dams system with narration of how it all works.
Lunch at a casino/hotel buffet near the dam ($32 total). Drove along Lake Mead (1 hour, 15 min) and then through the Valley of Fire State Park. Had to pay admission ($4 + $5) for both.
Saw two spring fed oases and some very colourful and spectacular rock formations which the boys enjoying climbing on.
The sun set at 4:30 so we didn’t get much time for climbing. Arrived at our hotel at 6:00. After dinner we drove a few blocks down the strip and parked and then walked along both sides of the street to look at the hotels – Venice, Paris, Excalibur, Luxor, The Forum shops … one had a fountain/music show every hour – we saw the 8 pm and the 10 pm.
Had a ‘tram’ ride on one section. There are overpasses to cross the roads and on one intersection we had to use 3 i.e. 6 sets of escalators up/down. Started walking at 7:30 and ended at 11:00. Our legs were very tired but it was certainly worth seeing. We missed one show with pirate ships at ‘Treasure Island’ so will try and see it tomorrow.